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10.04.2019 NDC News

Bawumia Accused Of Stampeding Audit Of Sinohydro Deal

By Staff Writer
Bawumia Accused Of Stampeding Audit Of Sinohydro Deal

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has been accused of preventing technical officers from coming up with a value for money audit on the US$1.5b Sinohydro deal.

The Ranking Member on Parliament's Road and Transport Committee, Kwami Agbodza, feels Dr. Bawumia has been obstructing value for money processes.

“I'm singling out the Vice President as being the one who is not allowing the due process of value for money to be done and he is going ahead with the sod cutting [ceremony].”

The Minority raised concerns about the absence of a value for money audit and a legal opinion before the Master Support Agreement of the Sinohydro deal was approved.

But the government insisted that these requirements will be fulfilled ahead of the sod-cutting of the projects in Tamale.

Mr. Agbodza, however, does not think these requirements are adequately being met.

“From the interaction with agencies and other things, I noticed that the quality of documents that were brought to Parliament was below par and I don't see how colleagues and professionals at the Ministry would have supervised that level of documentation.”

Mr. Agbodza had earlier complained that the average cost of a kilometre of a road under the project has shot up from the initial sum of over $1 million to about GHc 6 million because of the declining value of the cedi against the dollar.

He also complained that other critical financial and commercial agreements were brought Parliament without legal opinions and value for money audits.

Mr. Agbodza cautioned that such shortcomings handicapped Parliament.

“This House cannot be seen to be approving agreements without the critical ingredients when it comes to procurement contracts in this House,” he said.

As the MP voices his concerns, President Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to cut the sod for the construction of the Tamale Interchange project which will mark the official commencement of the $2 billion infrastructure project under the Sinohydro Master Project Agreement.

The Master Project Support was agreed between Ghana and China in 2017 in his geared towards address major infrastructure challenges in the country.

Under the deal, Sinohydro Group Limited of China will provide the infrastructure of the government’s choice in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.

Ghana will establish a refinery and select a partner to undertake the refining of the bauxite in line with the project.

The agreement will fund other infrastructure like roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, railway development as well as rural electrification.

– citinewsroom

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